May 30, 2003
The Honorable Rod Paige
Secretary of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202
Dear Secretary Paige:
We are writing to express our interest in the swift approval of the Iowa Plan for implementing the assessment and accountability provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act. As Iowa school districts plan for next year, it is important that they know what will be expected of them.
We have appreciated the willingness of your office to work with us and with officials at the Iowa Department of Education to resolve many of the complex issues surrounding the Iowa Plan. In particular, after numerous contacts by our offices to your staff about the need to tailor the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act to fit Iowa, we are pleased that an agreement now appears to have been reached to meet the goals of No Child Left Behind while accommodating Iowa's system of local content standards and the use of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. This is a very important issue for Iowans as we are rightly proud of our tradition of educational excellence and commitment to continual improvement. Iowans want to build on our past success, not "reinvent the wheel" and we know this is a sentiment you share.
Now that this matter has been largely resolved, we urge you to quickly complete consideration of the Iowa Plan so that it can be approved. This will give Iowa school districts greater certainty about what will be required under the plan and allow education officials at all levels to begin the process of implementation in earnest.
Thank you for your consideration of our request.
Charles E. Grassley United States Senator Steve King United States Representative